I am a big fan of cycling caps, they may look a bit kooky and be a magnet for a million jokes but the fact is that they are absolutely brilliant for cycling in. I wrote a bit about my first couple a while back, they were just run-of-the-mill cheapo ones and they were fine, or at least that’s what I thought.
This weekend a few of us went up to London to do some riding. After blasting through Saturday afternoon rush hour I ended up racing some punk ass hipster who was wearing braces and boat shoes. He was pretty bloody fast actually but was useless at the lights so as I reached my destination (Look Mum No Hands!) I made sure I got in front of him and did some weaving so that he couldn’t get past me, I emasculated the shit out of that dude. I sat outside the cafe/workshop to wait for the rest of my gang and got a call from Owen telling me to turn around and go back to the Rapha Cycle Club pop-up shop because it was amazing. I did just that…
I’ve always kind of ignored Rapha as a brand because I am a council estate boy and we don’t tend to dig shirts that cost 90 quid and stuff like that. The shop is proper good, it has a big TV with racing on, loads of books to read, a coffee machine, free water in little plastic cups with mountains on, classic jerseys, bikes, a lovely lady working there and a bunch of other stuff to look at. It wasn’t long before I discovered the cycle caps and I just couldn’t resist trying on the all black one even though I was never gonna buy it. Just imagine for a second that my head was a hand and the hat was a glove, the hat fit my head like a glove. Out of curiosity I asked what the price was, £25 is about 3.5x more than your average cotton cap but it just fit so damn good, I carried it around for a bit, tried it on again and then, I assume, due to a mix of smog, temporary madness and the remaining adrenaline of taking a hipsters’ manhood from him I laid down the cash.
When I got home the next day I went to the Rapha product page to do some research about my new headwear, I was delighted to find that my new hat was “highly water resistant, windproof and breathable”, running the tap on it proved their claims. The other major feature of the cap is the “moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial tape for maximum comfort” which sounds like a load of old bollocks but having done some heavy uphill riding in the blazing sun this week I can confirm that what that means is that your cap won’t be fucking soaking wet and disgusting every time you get home, honestly now, there really is a BIG difference in how it handles sweat. I’m guessing the Schoeller® 3XDry® cotton will have something to do with its magic powers.
The shape of these is slightly different to a cheaper, traditional cap, I suppose it’s a bit squarer. I find that it fits my head much better, there is no floppy bit at the back, that could be due to the fact that they come in 3 different sizes and not ‘one size fits all’ though more than just the general shape.
I love this cap, I honestly can’t see how I could possibly go back to a normal cap now, it would be like me trading in my iPhone and going back to Nokia, it’s just not gonna happen. The price of Rapha may put you off, I know it put me off, but in the case of the Rapha Cap the extra cost is well worth it if you always ride in a cap. It is often too easy to just go with the cheap option, you’ll probably even be more than happy with it but when you experience the other end of the spectrum you realise what you’ve been missing.
I cannot rate this cap highly enough, I demand that you treat yourself to one right now!